Mayor Emanuel and the Commission on Human Relations Announces Expanded Assistance to Non-English Speaking Victims of Discrimination
City's Commission on Human Relations adds interpretation services for speakers of Polish, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi and Arabic
Kenneth Gunn 312.744.1545
Mayor Emanuel recently announced that the Commission on Human Relations, the city's civil rights agency has acquired expanded interpreting services for callers to the Commission in four additional languages: Polish, Mandarin, Hindi and Arabic. Prior to this expanded assistance, the Commission was limited to accepting telephone calls in English and Spanish.
"The Commission on Human Relations has been at the forefront of protecting victims of discrimination for many years. It uses it's enforcement powers to punish violators of the law, and provides injunctive and monetary relief for victims," said Mayor Emanuel. "By providing interpreting services in these additional languages, the city will be able to extend this important protection to many additional immigrant communities."
The Commissioner on Human Relations, Mona Noriega added, "We are excited to have the opportunity to expand our reach into many new communities through this important initiative. We believe it is essential that all Chicagoans live free from discrimination, and by adding these translation services many people will no longer have to suffer silently when faced with discrimination."
The Commission on Human Relations enforces the Chicago Human Rights and Fair Housing Ordinances by investigating and adjudicating complaints of discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, credit and bonding. Persons who feel they have been discriminated against in Chicago because of membership in one or more of the following fifteen (15) protected classes may file a complaint with the Commission: race, sex, color, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, source of income, and credit history (employment complaints only). A complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination, and may be filed in person at the Commission on Human Relations, located at 740 N. Sedgwick, 4th floor, by mail, or by email. Complaint forms may be downloaded from the Commission's web page at www.chicago.gov/humanrelations. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. New complaints are taken until 3:00 pm.
Under the City's Hate Crimes Law, the Commission also advocates for victims of hate crimes. The agency also employs pro-active programs of education, intervention, and constituency building to discourage bigotry and bring people from different groups together. For more information, contact the Commission at 312.744.4111, or go to www.chicago.gov/humanrelations.